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Subject: WIP by Jason Kingsley: Hex Layout & Design Feedback rss

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Jason D. Kingsley
United States
Siloam Springs
Arkansas
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Greetings to all. If you don't know me, my name is Jason, and I live over in the Board Game Art thread, mostly because of my occupation. But, I visit here often, love the community in this neighborhood of the forums, and respect you all a lot. As such, I thought I'd seek some opinions on a WIP of mine that I thought was coming along nicely until I hit a snag with visualizing it (an embarrassing problem for an artist, but I simply remind myself that blind spots are more or less guaranteed in this kind of thing).

My prototype is very simple at this point, and my goal is too keep the game simple. Some of the core mechanics will not be discussed here at present, but I do hope to continue sharing as time allows over the coming months. The basic theme at this point is nautical: merchants sent out from their homeland with the ultimate goal of returning with precious resources. A three player game is constructed of seven hexes (eight is a possibility for four/five players: TBD), each hex containing water, land, and two tokens containing the vital information for each space. Nothing too crazy, right? Since we're dealing with hexes, I have no doubt that my decision in regard to art and design is a common one. Basically, I want to find a good solution to displaying the land in a way that does not hinder playability (movement) and isn't completely boring. Right now I am using a modular layout, but I would certainly consider a fixed board if that offers the best solution. Enter exhibit A:

 


A basic setup option is displayed on the left hand side (note: I did not include land and tokens on every hexes for simplicity, but they would be present). You can see a hint at a simple mechanic of the game, which are two barriers, preventing movement from certain hexes to others. Movement from one hex to another is most of the game. Option 2 is a simple solution for displaying land and allowing the water to connect to other hexes, but I want the idea to be nations or countries more than an seven (or more) equidistant islands, as you can see by the "x"s below. So, natural progression lead me to option 1 or a mixture of 1 and 2; perhaps some islands, some land around the edge hinting at larger countries. However, in an effort to make things more interesting, I was playing with option 3, with some nations being split by multiple tiles. My fear is that more than one of these could cause the board to appear overly complex and make natural movement options look confusing to new players.

It's not a really complex problem, but I knew that beside the enjoyment of beginning to share my design that there is a wealth of information and gaming experience here that I don't have. I appreciate your time and would enjoy hearing your opinions.
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Cat Lord
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If this is an "era of exploration" type game, then maybe you can only attach new hexes to a "like" side. When you explore, you have to attach the land to land, and water to water but otherwise it's randomized per game so a player's strategy has to be a little more esoteric.

Could you elaborate on your current mechanic? I might be able to provide better advice with more info.
 
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Jason D. Kingsley
United States
Siloam Springs
Arkansas
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PhantasyIV wrote:
If this is an "era of exploration" type game, then maybe you can only attach new hexes to a "like" side. When you explore, you have to attach the land to land, and water to water but otherwise it's randomized per game so a player's strategy has to be a little more esoteric.

Could you elaborate on your current mechanic? I might be able to provide better advice with more info.


There are a fixed number of tiles, no exploration. All information is on the main board from the get-go, and movement is simply from one hex to another one (i.e. look at your ship and move it one space (assuming no barrier is blocking you). Hopefully, that clarifies things and my visual aid didn't cause confusion.
 
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